A biweekly staff review of East Coast and regional lodgings.
Perhaps I’ve stayed at too many so-called boutique hotels with emaciated desk clerks sporting permanently pursed lips, outdoor signage designed for a game of hide-and-seek, and lobbies dark enough to hide the infrequency of cleaning. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I pushed the reserve button for a night at the Nolitan, a self-described “boutique luxury” hotel in one of those hipster Manhattan neighborhoods called Nolita (short for North of Little Italy).
After a debacle of a trip from Penn Station involving closed roads, gridlocked traffic, a surly cabbie and a final mile-long walk with luggage, I spied the small but clearly visible neon Nolitan sign. A receptionist with a big smile stood in the well-lit lobby and cheerfully asked about my trip. As I told Dylan an abridged version of my sad tale, his colleague asked whether I wanted red, white or sparkling. Armed with a big glass of wine, a handful of gourmet jelly beans and the promise of a plate of snacks to come, I headed to my room with a vastly improved attitude. My notions of urban boutique were definitely being challenged.